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Five reasons for Orioles fans to be thankful in 2012


Five reasons for Orioles fans to be thankful in 2012

A year ago, Orioles fans never dreamed they’d be in this position on Thanksgiving Day. A playoff team with lots of young talent and more on the way, it’s time to give thanks for the past year.

Here are the five things Orioles fans should be thankful for:

1) Adam Jones re-signing

It’s hard for a lot of fans to remember, but at this time last year, the Orioles were fielding trade offers for Jones. He was entering his walk year, but after the team got off to a surprisingly strong start, Jones and the Orioles negotiated a five-year contract extension.

If the Orioles hadn’t started well, they might have looked to move Jones at the trade deadline or attempted to sign him now with lots of competition.

The free agent market isn’t especially attractive this year and Jones would have been one of the top five players on the market. Instead, he’s bound to Baltimore until 2017.

2) Manny Machado

Putting Machado at third base in early August helped save the season for the Orioles. Manager Buck Showalter knew that the team couldn’t survive the final third of the season with weak defense at third.

Wilson Betemit, who moved off third when Machado arrived, was wearing down. Because of injuries, he hardly played in the season’s final two months.

Machado, who hadn’t played third in the minors, made a seamless transition and his hitting was surprisingly robust. His future is bright and so is the Orioles’.

3) Chris Davis
Derided as a fringe major league player when he was acquired from Texas in July 2011, Davis proved last season that he was indeed a legitimate major league hitter. 

He led the team with 33 home runs, hit three in a game, and provided the single most entertaining and uplifting performance of the season.

Davis pitched the 16th and 17th innings against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in May. After he had gone 0-for-8 with five strikeouts and a double play, Davis got the win, and was the catalyst for the team’s miracle season.

4) Buck Showalter

Showalter, who narrowly missed being voted the American League’s Manager of the Year, has become one of the most compelling figures in recent Baltimore sports history.

He had perhaps his best year as a manager with a team that won 16 consecutive extra-inning games and a phenomenal 29-9 record in one-run games.

Showalter successfully transitioned Machado to third base, Mark Reynolds to first base and Nick Markakis to leadoff. All those moves were essential to the Orioles’ success, and none of them was conventional.

5) Oriole Park

In its 20th anniversary season, the park looked better than ever. The addition of a new party deck in center field enhanced its attractiveness and the addition of six statues to honor Orioles greats was a classy and yet understated move.

Fans were late to recognize the staying power of the Orioles, but in the season’s last month, the park was as loud and more welcoming to its home team than ever.

“You’re going to see something you’ve never seen before,” I told one Oriole a few hours before a Yankees-Orioles game in September. “More Orioles fans than Yankees fans?” he replied.

Both the Orioles and their fans delivered.

Happy Thanksgiving! 

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Orioles agree to one-year deal with pitcher Chris Tillman, according to reports

USA Today Sports

Orioles agree to one-year deal with pitcher Chris Tillman, according to reports

SARASOTA, Fla. -- A person familiar with the negotiations says pitcher Chris Tillman and the Baltimore Orioles have agreed to a $3 million, one-year contract.

The deal includes performance bonuses, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because the deal had not yet been announced.

Tillman was 1-7 with a 7.84 ERA in 19 starts and five relief appearances last year. He would be the second starter added by the Orioles in the past week after right-hander Andrew Cashner.

Tillman likely would join right-handers Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman and Cashner in the rotation.

The 29-year-old right-hander lives in Sarasota and had been working out at the Orioles' facility before spring training. Manager Buck Showalter watched Tillman throw and was impressed.

Tillman began last season on the disabled list with right shoulder stiffness.

"Better than he did last year at this time. I think he's got the chance to pitch well for somebody this year," Showalter said. "A lot of the challenges he had last year -- this time last year -- aren't there. Somebody's going to reap the benefits."

Tillman's is 73-55 with a 4.43 ERA in nine major league seasons, all with the Orioles. He won 16 games in both 2013 and 2016.

"He's a guy when he's healthy you can bank on him giving you 200 innings and keeping his ERA between a 3 and a 4," Gausman said. "That in the AL East is always going to be very valuable."


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Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

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Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

Live baseball is close to gracing our television screens again. The Orioles haven't had the most active offseason, to put it mildly. Fans are still wondering who will make up more than half the spots in this year's rotation, and Manny Machado's upcoming free agency is looming over every decision the organization makes.

Still, it's exciting to be able to follow the team again. Not every game is televised, so get ready to constantly refresh your favorite beat writer's Twitter account for all your updates.

Even without getting to watch the games, it'll be comforting to once again check box scores in the morning to see if Jonathan Schoop is building on his breakout season, or if top-prospect Austin Hays is all he's cracked up to be (spoiler: he is).

This year's spring training will be especially interesting, considering how many big-name players will be signing in the next few weeks. The O's haven't yet made a big splash this offseason, but with the sheer volume of capable players still on the market, you have to wonder if they'll try to sign some impact players at bargain values.

Typically, the excitement of adding a new piece to the lineup or rotation has to be reignited after a long winter off, but this season, those additions will be taking place while camp is already underway.

It's going to be a hectic few weeks as teams prepare for thier seasons, so bookmark this page to check on on the Orioles spring training schedule over the next few weeks as the team finally takes the field in 2018.

Orioles 2018 Spring Training Schedule

Friday, Feb. 23 (SS) - Rays at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Saturday, Feb. 24 (SS) - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Feb. 24 (SS) - Twins at Orioles, 6:05 pm
Sunday, Feb. 25 - Orioles at Red Sox, 1:05 pm 
Monday, Feb. 26 - Tigers at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Feb. 27 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Wednesday, Feb. 28 - Cardinals at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MLBN) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 1 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 2 - Pirates at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 3 (SS) - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 4 - Red Sox at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Tuesday, Mar. 6 - Orioles at Twins, 1:05 pm 
Wednesday, Mar. 7 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Thursday, Mar. 8 - Blue Jays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 9 - Orioles at Blue Jays, 1:07 pm
Saturday, Mar. 10 (SS) - Pirates at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 11 (SS) - Orioles at Red Sox, 1:05 pm 
Sunday, Mar. 11 (SS) - Phillies at Orioles, 6:05 pm (MASN)
Monday, Mar. 12 - Orioles at Pirates, 1:05 pm 
Tuesday, Mar. 13 - Orioles at Twins, 1:05 pm 
Wednesday, Mar. 14 - Yankees at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MLBN) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 15 - Orioles at Cardinals, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 16 - Orioles at Mets, 1:10 pm 
Saturday, Mar. 17 (SS) - Blue Jays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 18 - Mets at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Monday, Mar. 19 - Orioles at Tigers, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Mar. 20 - Rays at Orioles, 6:05 pm (MASN)
Wednesday, Mar. 21 - Orioles at Yankees, 6:35 pm 
Thursday, Mar. 22 - Red Sox at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Friday, Mar. 23 (SS) - Rays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 24 - Twins at Orioles, 6:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 25 - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm 
Monday, Mar. 27 (in Norfolk, VA) - Orioles at Tides (AAA), 3:05 pm